Detroit Pistons 2020 NBA Draft Profile: Nico Mannion

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Nico Mannion #1 of the Arizona Wildcats (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)

The Detroit Pistons have a good chance at making a high selection in the upcoming draft. Should Nico Mannion be on their radar?

Given the state of the Detroit Pistons season, it’s quite strenuous to not ponder toward the future of the franchise.

The Motor City’s professional basketball team is like a Ford Mustang. The outside looks pleasing, but after some investigating you’ve found yourself with a motor that has 300,000 miles on it, only half the stereo system works, and the windshield wipers are in shreds.

The Detroit Pistons were looking to optimistically build on a previous season where they found themselves in the playoffs. Blake Griffin carried the team in his best statistical season as a pro.

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Detroit looked to build on that season and push further into the playoffs with key acquisitions in Derrick Rose, Markieff Morris and Tony Snell.

However, Griffin’s lingering knee issues forced a season-ending surgery. Add in knee tendinitis from Luke Kennard and back issues from Reggie Jackson, and the Pistons were unable to find crucial leverage in the first half of the season to stay afloat.

Thus, Detroit shipped away its longest-tenured and best player in Andre Drummond for Brandon Knight, John Henson and a 2023 second-round draft choice.

This kick started the reconstruction for the Pistons in which they were able to release $27 million in Drummond’s potential  contract opt-in, giving them breathing room for future assets.

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According to ESPN’s Bobby Marks and earlybirdrights.com, the Pistons are projected to have the third most cap space ($35 million) this summer in the NBA. This gives them ultimately flexibility in not only free agency, but the draft.

The Pistons (19-37) are nestled 11th in the Eastern Conference but astonishingly are a feasible five games behind the Orlando Magic for 8th seed. Right now, Detroit has the 7th worst record in the league. That would give them a sure fighting chance to receive a top-5 pick in this year’s 2020 NBA Draft.

In collegiate basketball this year, there isn’t one dominant team that finds themselves loaded to make a run. In turn, the draft class is feeble, but the Pistons should closely monitor the season of intriguing Arizona guard Nico Mannion.

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